What does the Bible have to say about work? Some may be surprised to find out that there are many thoughts about work, lack of work, and serving. The topic comes right to the forefront in the very beginning when in Genesis 1, after God created man He says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living think that moves on the earth.” The word “subdue” certainly has a meaning of work or control or trample under. Yes, God gave Adam some things to do from the very beginning (and this is even before sin entered the world in Genesis 3). Just like Adam, we all have things to do and work is one of them. We all work in some way; some go to an office, some work in the home. For some, to work is to raise children. The words from God do not stop in Genesis but continue on throughout the Scriptures with Jesus himself being a “carpenter” in Mark 6:3. Consider the following…
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.“
The “Sloth” and the “Sluggard”
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
Bible Verses About Work and Doing Everything Unto the Lord
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few
Luke 10:7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
Verses About Serving
Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Ephesians 6:7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man
In whatever walk of life you are in, in whatever job or task that you do, do it as unto the Lord. Sometimes we may work for someone who is not honorable or of high quality in character. Satan might try to convince us to act like a sluggard or to be lazy as many of our co-workers are. Don’t give in to that mindset. Be the best worker you can be. Your hard work and diligence are not really for your employer but for the Lord. He sees your diligence and hard work and although maybe you don’t get adequately rewarded in your workplace just know that the Lord is pleased and honored when we do good work.
Take a look at some of these other Bible verses by topic articles:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
YouTube video: “Do Everything” by Steven Curtis Chapman